IDD-MH Professional Development Series

Mission of the IDD-MH Professional Development Series: Increase the competence and confidence of professionals to provide effective services, support, and treatment to people with IDD-MH and their families through evidence-informed instruction and best practices.

Each course was developed to address specific roles in the human services system: Mobile Crisis Responders, Direct Support Professionals, and Care Coordinators. Each one of these introductory-level courses outlines key foundational concepts and relevant approaches related to the treatment and support of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health needs. 

While each course is designed to address professionals serving within a specific role, a diverse group of professionals have benefited from content across these courses. Each course includes an introduction to the mental health aspects of IDD. Primary focus areas are outlined below.  

  • Direct Support Professionals: Therapeutic interventions (positive identity development, emotion recognition & regulation, creative expression, trauma informed care in action)
  • Care Coordinators: Systemic engagement, working with families, leadership & advocacy
  • Mobile Crisis Responders: Emergency assessment & disposition planning

This series is offered twice a year, in the fall and spring. Each course consists of six live webinar sessions facilitated weekly via Zoom (exact dates provided during registration). Registration closes the day before each course’s start date.

Helpful hint: You can review each course’s session topics by clicking the ‘SCHEDULE’ tab within each course’s information page.

Check out the PD Series poster NCSS presented at the 2023 AUCD conference.


Course instruction is provided via live webinar by experts in the field from both professional and lived experience perspectives. Methods include adult learning and core START principles including:

  • Strengths-based practices
  • Positive psychology
  • Wellness-based
  • Biopsychosocial
  • Trauma-Informed
  • Cultural competence
  • Person and family centered

As an evidence-based model, START utilizes the data and feedback from participant evaluations to continuously improve the format, content, and delivery of the courses to best meet learners' needs.


All IDD-MH courses have the following shared attributes:

  • Six weekly sessions, 105 minutes in length. Includes direct instruction & opportunities for interaction and application exercises (individual, small, & large group)
  • Facilitated by NCSS staff with expertise in IDD-MH; guest speakers & co-facilitators provide perspective of persons with lived experience/family members
  • Sessions are held via Zoom, recorded, and shared with participants following each session.
  • Additional materials targeted toward improved application of practices provided include: worksheets, articles, and other resources.
  • Pre and post surveys and individual session evaluations.
  • UNH CEUs offered
  • Certificate of Completion in IDD-MH Training for [Mobile Crisis Responders/Care Coordinators/Direct Support Professionals]